Over 200 girls were kidnapped right out of the school in Chibok, a village in Nigeria over two months ago by Islamic militant group, Boko Haram. Public outrage around the missing girls went viral, enrolling everyone around the world to support Nigeria in recovering these girls. The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was created as a helpful social media tool to keep up with the outcry and people everywhere protested the powers that be in Nigeria who were blamed for doing nothing to find the girls. According to CNN, all protests in Nigeria’s capital have been banned.
Commissioner Joseph Mbu said these protests are “now posing a serious security threat” to those living around, and driving through, demonstration sites in the capital city of Abuja. “I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness,” he said in a statement Monday.
“Information reaching us is that too soon dangerous elements will join the groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosive(s) aimed at embarrassing the government. Accordingly protests on the Chibok Girls is hereby banned with immediate effect,” the commissioner continued.
Boko Haram abducted about 276 girls from the school in Chibok and immediately, the Nigerian military lied to the media, claiming that the girls were found, but more than 200 girls are still missing. Many supporters turned critics when they noticed the Nigerian military and President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged lack of response and demanded that something be done to help find the girls and bring them home.
Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for Goodluck Jonathan, told CNN, “The President and the government is not taking this as easy as people all over the world think. We’ve done a lot but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.”
In recent years, Boko Haram has carried out dozens of attacks, killing hundreds of people at schools, churches, police stations, government buildings and more. The U.S. involvement (and worldwide concern) in this crisis undermines the democratic process in Nigeria and no matter how many heartfelt hashtags we create, nothing seems to be able to change what the violent terrorist group has planned.
Boko Haram is going to do whatever they see fit. Yes, we can support, but we should more more mindful of how. If they are being asked not to protest in the heart of the tragedy, what do you think out protests efforts create? I’d offer–more confusion. Emphasis on U.S. action does more harm that help to the Nigerian people. Look at the recent attack that claimed the lives of 310 innocent villagers. This was in response to efforts being made to locate the girls. The rescue efforts have to be perfectly planned and strategically executed or more innocent lives will be claimed at the hands of the Boko Haram. While law enforcement in Nigeria is banning protests, we’re hoping this is not an attempt to silence outrage over this sick tragedy.
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